During our recent visit to the Lake District, we decided to visit the South Lakes Safari Zoo. Here is a recap of our visit to the zoo:
So, you may have seen a recent post detailing my 3 days in the Lake District, where I mentioned visiting the South Lakes Safari Zoo. This was on the last day of our trip, and we spent it exploring other areas of the Lake District.
South Lakes Safari Zoo:
The Zoo is in Lindal-in-Furness, Ulverston in the Lake District. It is a zoo with over 1,000 animals, some of which are rare and endangered. You are able to wander amongst some of the animals, including the Wallabies, kangaroos and emus. There is also the opportunity to feed some of the animals, including the leopards, as well as being a zookeeper for the day.
As it was November, the admission price was lower, costing us £5 to enter. Bargain! It was a Monday when we visited, so a voucher for a meal in the zoo restaurant/café is included in the price. This is a deal on a Monday only. I think that is great value for money, although we didn’t try out the food there (I will discuss this later in this post).
At other times of the year, admission prices vary, with higher prices during peak seasons (summer). These range from £5, £12.50 and £16.50 for adults, with children’s tickets being slightly less. It is also worth noting that prices can be cheaper when purchased online prior to your visit.
Arriving at the zoo a little before lunchtime following leaving Grange-over-Sands which was our base for our Lake District Trip. The journey took roughly half an hour, which isn’t too bad, especially as the views along the way are so beautiful. There is a long walkway of sorts as you enter the zoo, with plenty of signs advertising the various animals and feeding opportunities available in the zoo.
At the entrance, there is a wooden carved lion, and you fast see that this is the décor of choice throughout the zoo. Wood carved animals adorn the various areas around the zoo. The gift shop also has an abundance of wooden carved items which you can purchase. Parting with some serious £s can get you a large carved wooden table! We didn’t purchase anything from here, only using the gift shop as shelter from the torrential rain that came down upon us.
Around the Zoo:
The first area in the zoo is AFRICA, where you have the chance to see giraffes, zebras, and rhinos up close. As the weather was changeable, most of these animals were in their inside enclosures. It was also feeding time, so they were chowing down on their tasty grub. I know they are animals, but just to warn you it smells big time here. Literally took my breath away for the first few seconds of being in there, and as much as I loved seeing the animals, I was definitely glad to get outside for fresh air.
Making our way further into the zoo we came across another inside enclosure which houses peacocks and lemurs. This area also leads to outside areas where you can walk amongst the animals. It smelt less in this part, which made it easier to stay and watch the animals.
Next up on the animals we saw, were two brown bears with a black and white lemur, relaxing in the sun. Across the other side of the walkway, there are various smaller animals, including small deer which I think are have the name of Dik-Diks. There are also emus and capybara in this part. It is lovely to see the animals walking about and exploring.
Continuing the walkthrough, you come across a few different birds, some ‘outside’ and some within an outside enclosure. The large pond area is where you can watch the storks having a splish-splash about, which is quite nice to see.
So, during the exploration of the zoo, the heavens decide to open up on us. This meant we had to duck to the inside enclosures at times. Some of the animals had the same idea, which meant we didn’t get to see all of them. A few meerkats were brave enough to come out in between downpours.
Due to the weather, the day out came to an end early, and we didn’t get to see the lions, tigers and other big cats. This also meant that we didn’t use our meal voucher
We did get to see the Jaguars being fed but didn’t take part ourselves. One of the Jaguars began banging against the window, which is a bit disconcerting. Luckily the glass is thick and held the weight!
Before visiting the South Lakes Safari zoo, I had not heard of any of the controversaries surrounding it. It wasn’t until I started doing some research for this post that I came across a few articles. This article from the Guardian caught my attention. Until January 2018 the RSPCA were investigating the zoo into animal cruelty, and the safety of the zoo. Apparently, the zoo had a high percentage of animal deaths, poor levels and quality of food for the animals and a keeper had been killed by one of the animals. I was quite shocked by what I read!
The zoo is now under new management, and was so when we visited. It has undergone improvements, with inspectors concluding that the zoo has seen marked improvements in animal welfare. I must say that we didn’t see anything out of the ordinary at the zoo (not that I would 100% know what to look for). I guess the only thing that made me think about the animals was when an otter was going berserk at us through the glass and the jaguar banging against the glass. I’m not sure if this is a territory marking type of behaviour or something else. It has definitely made me more aware of looking into places that I am visiting though.
A Day Out:
All in all, it was a great day out at the South Lakes Safari Zoo. All apart from the soaking we got in the rain, but looking back and at the time we did find it funny. It was a shame that we didn’t get to explore the whole zoo because of the rain. I think some parts were being renovated too, so it would be interesting to return again when there is better weather.
Have you ever visited South Lakes Safari Zoo or another zoo similar? What animals would you like to see most? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!